Surveys and Plats
The Surveys are then done, the borders of the land are defined by the survey and the plat. This is sometimes homesteaded at this point.
● Link to Book: Forest Technology: A suggested 2-year Post High School Curriculum, Volume 80054 (1968)
https://books.google.com/books/about/Forest_Technology.html?id=Q8z_RQAACAAJ&hl=en

On (page 2) of this excerpt:
9-3. The legal significance of plat and field notes is set out in Alaska United Gold Mining Co. v. Cincinnati-Alaska Mining Co., 45 L.D. 330 (1916).
It has been repeatedly held by both State and Federal courts that plats and field notes referred to in patents may be resorted to for the purpose of determining the limits of the area that passed under such patents. In the case of Cragin v. Powell (128 U.S. 691, 696), the Supreme Court said:
"It is a well settled principle that when lands are granted according to an official plat of the survey of such lands, the plat itself, with all its notes, lines, descriptions and landmarks, become as much a part of the grant or deed by which they are conveyed, and controls so far as limits are concerned, as if such descriptive features were written out upon the face of the deed or the grant itself."

Link to Book: Restoration of lost or obliterated corners and subdivision sections - lost_oblit.pdf
http://www.blm.gov/or/gis/geoscience/files/lost_oblit.pdf (this link will download a 45 page PDF)
IMPORTANCE OF PLAT AND FIELD NOTES (Pg. 10)
The importance, or legal significance, of the plats and field notes is well stated in an opinion by the Department of the Interior (45 L. D. 330, 336) as follows:
It has been repeatedly held by both State and Federal courts that plats and field notes referred to in patents may be resorted to for the purpose of determining the limits of the area that passed under such patents. In the case of Cragin v. Powell (128 U.S. 691, 696), the Supreme Court said:
"It is a well settled principal that when lands are granted according to an official plat of the survey of such lands, the plat itself, with all its notes, lines, descriptions, and landmarks, becomes as much a part of the grant or deed by which they are conveyed, and controls so far as limits are concerned, as if such descriptive features were written out upon the face of the deed or the grant itself."
Speaking of surveys I read in those compacts of the 1990’s it said that the U.S. wanted: “Commissioning a survey of the entire 116-mile stretch of contested area along the Red River using the gradient boundary survey method developed and backed by the Supreme Court to find the proper boundary between private and federally owned land.” Well this may/could present a problem since the original surveys were done using the ole chain and rods method. The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that unless there was gross error or fraud found in the original surveys subsequent surveys can not change or alter the property rights established by the original surveys. The U.S. Dept. of Interior knows this, and in fact has issued administrative hearings on this subject over the past 125+ years plus, the BLM knows this fact as well but, refuses to abide by the law since it doesn’t suit its new purpose in life.

One needs to find out if the Republic of Texas followed the survey procedures that were practiced in the U.S. prior to entering the Union, and if so, what U.S. Surveyor General Manual(s) of Instructions did they use? Also, the same needs to be found out after admittance into the Union. There were important changes from Manual to Manual especially concerning inland lakes, rivers and streams.

It is most important to document surveys:
  • Original surveys, both those of Texas and the U.S., that were used to convey the first original titles from either Texas and/or the U.S. in order to determine the location of the river at that time.
  • Subsequent surveys, both those of Texas and the U.S., from the 1830’s onward to current, to follow the changes of the course of the river.
  • What constitutes navigable vs. non-navigable water, now, vs. when the land was surveyed and granted. In some rivers, levels of water  have changed drastically in recent years.  Even back in the 1800's, they depended on lots of rain to keep the water levels high enough to use the river for commercial transportation.  I found this in research of the Red River  showing that the Red River was used for navigation at times in the mid 1800's early 1900's when some certificates and surveys were done….  
  • State and National Boundaries of the United States - This PDF gives some very helpful information regarding the boundaries of states, how they change and the ripple effect that causes. What are the legal ramifications of this.
This will be quite an undertaking, to say the least, as there will be a large amount of time spent digging through old hard copy survey maps, not scanned into a computerized system. It's all hand & eyeball work.

Here's some of the best info I’ve found so far concerning the history of those lands encompassed within the Louisiana Purchase.

Here's an English translation of the French copy of the Louisiana Purchase, I could not find any mention as to the exact location of the boundaries.

Texas General Land Office: An Inventory of the Red River Compact, Texoma Area Boundary Agreement at the Texas State Archives, 1973, 1982, 1999-2000

This site may be very helpful regarding Texas/Oklahoma. The General Land Office (GLO)  archives all the documents dealing with this Red River Compact… pertaining to the Texas / Oklahoma border, including Legal Boundary Agreements, Legislative Records, & Maps. A good thing to know is, they all originate from the year 1973 forward.  These agreements and legislative records do not retroactively apply to land with vested rights, only to lands after these dates… That's why it's good to know when this Compact originated….

Here is part of a BLM Manual pertaining to water boundaries which is correct [I’ve checked it against other sources] which explains the relationship of property ownership.

I’m attaching a federal district & subsequent federal court of appeals case which shows that even the BLM forgets that- It is what the original laws, rules, regulations and construction said- at the time of survey and/or conveyance that stands, not subsequent modern laws. It's all about Contract.  It is a 1977 case, so it's current, it's against the US  for not coming timely forward, having done due diligence in its duty, and because of the statute of limitations, the bona fide purchaser, was found to be the one holding title to the land.

These other cases are great as well.  The McGregor v. Millican is a Texas Case involving surveys.  The metes and bounds survey describes fully the land granted. 

There are statutes of limitations covering adverse possession. I don’t know if or how this would apply to the boundaries between states, and a navigable river being therefore a ‘waters of the U.S.’ to fall under the Commerce Clause.

This is a recent, 2014, court case pertaining to land up in Alaska and involves actions done by the BLM and the Alaska RR Co. against an assignee.

I’ve highlighted what I had thought to be the most interesting points;

          [A] laws that existed at the time of the statute providing for the conveyance,
          [B] plain wording of the statute and the legislative intent,
          [C] a recent [2014] U.S. Supreme Court decision stating same,
          [D] that once patent has issued the government no longer has jurisdiction and, cannot be changed by subsequent legislation.

While this case pertains to lands conveyed out of the national public domain by an Act of congress the same rules would apply to lands conveyed out of a state’s public domain by a state’s legislative act.

We know that the state legislature believes it can create whatever laws it wants for whatever reasons, or lack thereof, it can’t by law; constitutional, common law and contract. The DNR & DEQ has been empowered  by the EPA to enforce the federal Clean Waters Act but the EPA is part of the federal executive branch and Congress no longer has jurisdiction of the lands conveyed by patent, barring any reservations, supported by numerous rulings by the federal Supreme Court.

While numerous departments of the federal executive branch have been surveying, categorizing, indexing and classifying private property in which the original titles come from a previous sovereign nation or the federal government itself none of those dept. have any jurisdiction to do so or, impose any land use restriction and claim of interest of whatever kind.

Also, Came across is case in Title 43 U.S.C.A., Sec. 15 Ch. 1 Bureau of Land Management, I. Generally, 1. Law Governing

"Where the United States has not in any way provided otherwise, the ordinary incidents attaching to a title traced to a patent under the public land laws may be determined according to local rules, provided such rules do not impair the efficacy of the grant or the use and enjoyment of the property by the grantee." Brewer-Elliott Oil & Gas v U.S., 260 U.S. 77

In this particular case it is stated that it is federal rules which determine whether or not a body of water is navigable or not, not state or local rules to make such determination.

The gist of the Brown v NHRRA is quoted here:  Note the government loses its jurisdiction over the land as soon as a valid patent is issued.

[¶ 13.] The Beres court emphasized that the landowners' successors in interest had derived title from a land patent. The court noted that a land patent that is "regular in form and for whose issuance there is statutory authority is so binding on the government that a purchaser from the patentee need make no investigation as to the details of its issuance the legal title has passed and the patent is conclusive against the government. The [government] *737 loses its jurisdiction over the land as soon as a valid patent is issued." Id. at 417 (quoting U.S. v. Eaton Shale Co., 433 F.Supp. 1256, 1267 (D.Colo.1977)) (alteration in the original). The land patent to Beres' land failed to reserve an interest by the United States. Id. Consequently, the court concluded that the United States failed to retain an interest in the ROW. The court reasoned as follows:

[T]he United States Supreme Court recognizes the sanctity of land transfers, and has expressed reluctance to interfere with land rights in which no reservations were present when conferred, stating that: "Generations of land patents have issued without any express reservation of the right now claimed by the Government. . . . [W]e are unwilling to upset settled expectations to accommodate some ill defined power to construct public thoroughfares without compensation."

Id. (quoting Leo Sheep Co., (440 U.S. at 687-88, 99 S.Ct. at 1414, 59 L.Ed.2d 677).

All of this is interesting as the federal court finally killed the theft of property created by the Rails to Trails movement.

What is most interesting as it applies with regard to the 1836 Constitution is what is said in footnote 13
https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/901624/brown-v-nhrra/

Here’s a pretty dang good explanation of the Color of Title Act which came into being in 1928.

Over the years everyone found out, usually the hard way of course, that not all of the public domain lands had actually been properly or even surveyed as per the then existing U.S. Surveyor General’s Manual of Instructions to conduct surveys which the down in the dirt surveyors were supposed to follow. The old human nature again.

For those property owners whose original title came from a previous sovereign nation they had anywhere from several, too many years, to present their titles to the U.S. Land Commissioners for inspection/review, and to have surveys done to actually physically locate the borders of the land so described within the patents/grants. A great many of these property owners failed to get off their behinds within the allotted time. Hence, the reason for the Color of Title Act.

If you Google ‘U.S. Color of Title Act’ you’ll get a snoot full of hits. Here is one from Texas Attorney General Opinion_JM-364

Current Texas Statutes:

Texas Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 53. Special Act or Law
https://www.stcl.edu/library/TexasRulesProject/TRCPPartIIsec4A/rule531941.htm

A pleading founded wholly or in part on any private or special act or law of this State or of the Republic of Texas need only recite the title thereof, the date of its approval, and set out in substance so much of such act or laws as may be pertinent to the cause of action or defense.  Source: Art. 2000, unchanged.   Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941. 

Texas Property Code, Title 3. - Public Records, Ch. 12. - Recording Of Instruments, § 12.006.. Grant From Government.

A grant from this state or the United States that is executed and authenticated under the law in effect at the time the grant is made may be recorded without further acknowledgement or proof. Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3491, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.

CV - Vernon's Civil Statutes, Title 86. - Lands--public, Ch. 6. - Patents § 2..

The State of Texas hereby relinquishes, quit-claims and grants to patentees and awardees and their assignees all of the lands, and minerals therein contained, lying across, or partly across watercourses or navigable streams, which lands are included in surveys heretofore made, and to which lands patents or awards have been issued and outstanding for a period of ten years from the date thereof and have not been cancelled or forfeited, and the State of Texas hereby relinquishes, quit-claims and grants to patentees and awardees and their assignees all of the beds, and minerals therein contained, or water courses or navigable streams, and also all of the abandoned beds, and minerals therein contained, of water courses or navigable streams, which beds or abandoned beds or parts thereof are included in surveys heretofore made, and to which beds or abandoned beds, or parts thereof, patents or awards have been issued and outstanding for a period of ten years from the date thereof, and have not been cancelled or forfeited; provided that nothing in this Act contained shall impair the rights of the general public and the State in the waters of streams or the rights of riparian and appropriation owners in the waters of such streams, and provided further that with respect to lands sold by the State of Texas expressly reserving title to minerals in the State, such reservation shall not be affected by this Act; nor shall relinquish or quit-claim any number of acres of land in excess of the number of acres of land conveyed to said patentee or awardees in the original patents granted by the State, but the patentees or awardees and their assignees shall have the same rights, title and interest in the minerals in the beds or abandoned beds, or parts thereof, of such water courses or navigable streams, that they have in the uplands covered by the same patent or award; provided that this Act shall not in any way affect the State's title, right or interests in and to the sand and gravel, lying within the bed of any navigable stream within this State, as defined by Article 5302, Revised Statutes of 1925.

CV - Vernon's Civil Statutes, Title 86. - Lands--public, Ch. 7. - General Provisions, Art. 5421c-6.. Patents Validated.

All patents issued prior to the effective date of Article 5421-c as amended by House Bill No. 9 of the Forty-sixth Legislature, such effective date being September 21, 1939, by the authority of the State, under the seal of the State and of the Land Office, signed by the Governor and countersigned by the Commissioner of the General Land Office to parties who for a period of ten (10) years prior to the date of application for the patent had held and claimed the same in good faith, under the provisions of Section 5 of Chapter 271, Acts of the Forty-second Legislature, Regular Session, are hereby ratified and title validated and confirmed in such patentees, their heirs or assigns, subject only to the mineral reservation as contained in Section 4, Chapter 271, Acts of the Forty-second Legislature, Regular Session, and without regard to whether or not such land was located within five (5) miles of a well producing oil or gas in commercial quantities at the time of such patent.

Acts 1943, 48th Leg., p. 368, ch. 247, Sec. 1.

CV - Vernon's Civil Statutes, Title 86. - Lands--public, Ch. 6. - Patents
§ 1..

All patents to and awards of lands lying across or partly across water courses or navigable streams and all patents and awards covering or including the beds or abandoned beds of water courses or navigable streams or parts thereof, which patents or awards have been issued and outstanding for a period of ten years from the date thereof and have not been cancelled or forfeited, are hereby confirmed and validated.

§ 3..

Any claimant to any portion of said lands who would have had title to same had it been located in Oklahoma, may make application to the Commissioner of the General Land Office to purchase the land claimed. Such application shall be accompanied by field notes of the tract claimed, together with a filing fee of One ($1.00) Dollar, an examination fee of Fifteen (.15˘) Cents per acre, and with such other information as the Land Board may require to be given, including certified copies of all muniments of title under the laws of Oklahoma. Upon receipt of such application the Land Board shall cause an investigation to be made as to the status of the public records of the State of Oklahoma, and in event it is found that the applicant would have been the owner of said land at the time of the decree of the Supreme Court of the United States had the same been located in Oklahoma, or holds title by reason of foreclosure of a lien valid and enforceable under the laws of Oklahoma at the time of such decree of the Supreme Court of the United States, such application shall be approved, and said land awarded to said applicant. Within sixty days after such award such applicant shall pay to the Commissioner of the General Land Office the sum of One ($1.00) Dollar per acre for said land, and upon receipt of such payment the Commissioner of the General Land Office shall issue to the claimant a patent to said lands in such form as the Land Commissioner shall prescribe.

§ 4..

In event the claimant fails or refuses to purchase same or to apply for a patent as provided for herein, then the holder of a lien against any of said lands may make such purchase or apply for such patent on behalf of said owner and pay the consideration provided for, and all fees and expenses, and such amounts when paid by such lien holder shall be added to and become a part of the total amount secured by the lien. A failure on the part of the said owner to make purchase, or application for patent, for a period of four months after the last publication by said Land Board as provided in this Act shall constitute such failure to apply as will warrant the lien holder in making such application to purchase. The patent issued upon application and purchase of a lien holder shall be in the name of the person, persons or company who would have owned said lands had the same been a part of Oklahoma.

Recording Deeds, Mortgages, Etc.; Evidence; Force and Effect

§ 5..

All deeds, mortgages, contracts and instruments of every nature, or in case of loss of any such instrument a certified copy from the record in the Oklahoma County may be so used, affecting the title to said lands, or that would have formed a part of the chain of title to the same under the laws of the State of Oklahoma, and now of record on the public records of the State of Oklahoma, may be filed and recorded in the county in Texas in which the land is now located. All deeds, mortgages, conveyances and all other instruments which would be valid under the laws of the State of Oklahoma and admissible in evidence under the laws of said State, shall be valid in Texas and shall be admissible in evidence in any court in this State, and copies of said instruments certified as provided by the laws of Oklahoma, as well as the originals thereof, may be introduced in evidence in the same manner as if executed with the formalities required by the laws of the State of Texas, and as if certified as required by the laws of this State. All such deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, conveyances and contracts, affecting the title to any of said lands shall be given the same force and effect in the State of Texas as same would have been given in the State of Oklahoma, and all bona fide liens, incumbrances, or debentures, now outstanding and unsatisfied, and existing against said lands at the time of the rendition of said decision of the Supreme Court of the United States are here expressly validated, save and except as to purchase money due to the State of Oklahoma, or the United States, and except taxes, general or special, due to the State of Oklahoma, or any city, county, school district or other political subdivision of the State of Oklahoma. In determining whether any lien against said land shall be enforced, the period of time intervening between the rendition of the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States and the issuance of a patent to the land involved by the State of Texas, shall not be computed in applying the Statutes of Limitation of either the State of Oklahoma or the State of Texas, and this Act shall be liberally construed in the enforcement of liens against said land, it being the intention of the Legislature that all sections and parts hereof are independent of each other, and if any section or part hereof be held unconstitutional such invalid section shall not affect the remaining sections or parts hereof.

Deposit and Use of Fees


OWNERSHIP OF BEDS OF NAVIGABLE STREAMS
The beds of navigable streams are generally owned by the state, in trust for the public. Most of the land alongside navigable streams is privately owned. The beds of non-navigable streams are usually privately owned, and public use of the stream may be forbidden by the private landowner. However, the state owns the beds of perennial streams, regardless of navigability, where the original land grant was made under the civil law prior to December 14, 1837.
Under a 1929 law popularly known as the "Small Bill", the state in some situations has relinquished to the adjoining landowner certain property rights in the bed of a navigable stream. However, the public may still use these navigable streams. The law’s major effect was to give some adjoining landowners the royalties from oil and gas under the stream bed. Significantly, the Small Bill declared that it did not impair the rights of the general public and the State in the waters of streams. Thus, along a navigable stream, even if the landowner’s deed includes the bed, and taxes are being paid on the bed, the public retains its right to use it as a navigable stream. The Small Bill also retained the state’s sand and gravel interests.

STATE OWNERSHIP IN TRUST FOR THE PUBLIC
[O]ur decisions are unanimous in the declaration that by the principles of the civil and common law soil under navigable waters was treated as held by the state or nation in trust for the whole people.
State v. Bradford, 121 Tex. 515, 50 S.W.2d 1065, 1076 (1932)
The waters of public navigable streams are held by the State in trust for the public, primarily for navigation purposes.
Carrithers v. Terramar Beach Com. Imp. Ass’n, 645 S.W.2d 772, 774 (Tex. 1983)
[T]itle to [a navigable stream’s] waters is in the state in trust for the public. ... The waters are in trust for the public: First, for navigation purposes, which concerns all the public and is ordinarily regarded as a superior right ... .
Motl v. Boyd, 116 Tex. 82, 286 S.W. 458, 468 (1926)

STATE OWNERSHIP OF PERENNIAL STREAMS UNDER THE CIVIL LAW
Manry v. Robison, 122 Tex. 213, 231; 56 S.W.2d 438, 446 (1932) states:
The status of the law in Texas when we adopted the common law as the rule of decision in 1840 was as follows: Texas owned the beds of all perennial streams, regardless of navigability, whether grants of land adjacent were made by Spain and Mexico prior to March 2, 1836, or by the Republic of Texas prior to the Act of [December 14,] 1837, by virtue of the civil law of Mexico. ... The Republic also owned the beds of all streams touching grants made subsequent to that date and prior to the Act of 1840, whether perennial or not, where the beds were as wide as 30 feet, under the Mexican civil law as modified by the Act of 1837.
For an example of a stream found to be perennial, see Heard v. Town of Refugio, 103 S.W.2d 728, 729-30 (Tex. 1937).

THE SMALL BILL
The Small Bill is codified as Article 5414a of the Revised Civil Statutes of Texas. It allows, under certain circumstances, a landowner with insufficient upland acreage in a land grant to make up the difference by claiming acreage from the stream bed.
One provision of the Small Bill states:
[N]othing in this Act contained shall impair the rights of the general public and the State in the waters of streams ... .
In a 1932 case which addressed the nature of the private ownership granted by the Small Bill, the Texas Supreme Court noted:
The reservation to the state and the public of the waters of streams would, under well-established rules of construction, carry with the reservation all things necessary to the practicable and substantial use of and enjoyment of the things reserved.
State v. Bradford, 121 Tex. 515, 50 S.W.2d 1065, 1077 (1932).

DAMS AND THE SMALL BILL
See Garrison v. Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties W. I. D., 404 S.W.2d 376 (Tex.Civ. App.--Austin 1966), holding approved and writ ref’d, n.r.e., 407 S.W.2d 771 (Tex. 1966). The headnotes to the opinions summarize the case as follows:
The Small Bill which confirmed patents and awards to beds of water courses and navigable streams did not vest patentees and their assignees with such title as would constitute beds of navigable streams their “own property” within meaning of statute permitting construction of dam or reservoir on their own property without a permit. Statute permitting landowners to construct dam on their own property without permit has no application to a stream which is navigable as defined by statute relating to navigable streams which shall not be crossed by the lines on a survey.
See Water Code § 11.142 (formerly in Art. 7500a) and Natural Resources Code § 21.001 (formerly in Art. 5302).

NAVIGATION RIGHTS IRRESPECTIVE OF OWNERSHIP
A lawsuit was brought by some landowners who claimed ownership of the bed of the Upper Guadalupe. They contended that their titles were impaired when the Texas Water Rights Commission found (and the trial court affirmed) that the stream is navigable by statute. The appeals court rejected the landowners’ contention, stating:
The title of owners of beds of streams by the State or landowners does not determine property rights in the water. Assuming that the property owners here involved owned the stream beds, this does not deprive the State from reasonable regulations and control of navigable streams. A property owner, including holders of riparian rights, cannot unreasonably impair the public’s rights of navigation and access to and enjoyment of a navigable water course.
Adjudication of Upper Guadalupe Segment of Guadalupe River Basin, 625 S.W.2d 353, 362 (Tex.Civ.App. -- San Antonio 1981), aff’d, 642 S.W.2d 438 (1982).